Property Settlements

Married Couples

The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have the power to deal with property and spending of the parties to a marriage whether held individually or jointly. The Court also considers the financial resources of either party.

In general, when the Court is required to make an assessment of the respective entitlements of the parties it will follow the following process:

  1. Identify and value all available property, liabilities, superannuation and financial resources;
  2. Consider whether it is appropriate for there to be an adjustment of property;
  3. Consider the contributions made by the parties both financial and non-financial and as homemaker and parent during the relationship and since separation;
  4. Look at each party’s future needs and resources and determine whether it is appropriate to make an adjustment of the available property and/or resources in favour of one party having regard to those factors;
  5. Determine whether the orders for the division of the property, liabilities and financial resources in accordance with steps 3 and 4 results in a fair (just and equitable) property settlement.

Applications for property settlement may be filed with the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court of Australia at any time (subject to the application being filed within 12 months of the date of a divorce becoming final). Property matters can also be resolved by negotiation and formalised as a binding financial agreement.

De Facto Couples

Property and maintenance matters for de facto couples are dealt with under the Family Law Act 1975. This means that de facto couples largely have the same financial rights and remedies available to married couples and that any disputes will be dealt with by the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court of Australia. De facto couples include same sex couples.

The Court has the power to deal with the property and financial resources held by the parties to a de facto relationship and to divide them justly and equitably after taking into account a number of factors.

Applications for property settlement must be filed with the Court within 2 years from the date of separation.

Property matters can also be resolved by negotiation and formalised as a financial agreement.

Financial Agreements

At Pigdon|Norgate we are experts in all aspects of financial agreements related to property matters.